Madagascan delegation completes 6-day study tour of fintechs and MFIs

The Team at the Bank of Ghana

The Ghana Fintech and Payments Association has hosted an eight-member Delegation of Chief Executives from the Association Professionnelle Des Institutions De Microfinance (APIMF) of Madagascar on a six-day working visit to Ghana.

The team was led by their Secrétaire-Général, Fanjaharivola Rakotomaharo, and Head of the Ministry of Finance’s Centre for Financial Inclusion, Nivoarizay Razafinorakoto, to understudy Ghana’s microfinance and financial technologies (fintech) industry.

According to the recent State of Inclusive Instant Payment in Africa Report – put together by AfricaNenda and launched at the Mobile World Congress Africa 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda – Ghana has been recognised as the only country in Africa to achieve 100 percent access to financial inclusion on the continent.

Undoubtedly, it is for this achievement and more that the delegation saw a need to understudy the Ghanaian fintech space. This ecosystem tour was part of the Madagascar Financial Inclusion Project and World Bank’s programme for financial inclusion in Madagascar to promote the financial inclusion of individuals, Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), which was birthed in 2018.

During their visit, the delegation toured some selected Financial Technology companies (FinTechs) and Microfinance Institutions as well as Regulatory Bodies to get a better understanding of how the nation has been able to achieve this globally-acclaimed feat.

The team at the Ministry of Finance

This visit to a large extent provided the delegation with first-hand practical information through the understudy of Ghana’s digital financial services transformation, and the processes the country has adopted as part of digitising the microfinance industry. Thus, the tour seeks to enable them to understand and apply best-use cases from the mature Ghanaian Digital Financial systems that can be implemented in Madagascar, in line with the National Financial Inclusion Strategy of Madagascar (NFIS) and SADC Financial Inclusion Strategy which ended in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Martin Kwame Awagah, President of the Ghana Fintech and Payments Association and Team, led the delegation to fintechs and Microfinance Institutions that leveraged technology to achieve financial inclusion for the Ghanaian populace through the provision of customer-centric products and services.

According to Mr. Awagah: “It is clear that a lot of these successes chalked up by Ghana were greatly influenced by policies such as the Ghana Cash-lite Roadmap, National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy (NFIDS), and Digital Financial Services (DFS) Policy that was put in place by government, as well as our globally touted financially stable economy”.

Miss Fanjaharivola Rakotomaharo also commended Ghanaian stakeholders, saying: “Ghana has garnered enough expertise through the use and exploitation of technological systems in the financial space, and I am honoured to lead this delegation to learn more from the companies on their journeys so far in achieving inclusivity in delivering financial products. Appreciation, I must say, goes out to the Finance Ministry of Ghana, Bank of Ghana and other key stakeholders in the digital drive to go cashless”.

The Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Finance, Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN), Digital Credit Management Limited, Pan-African Savings and Loans, Letshego Ghana, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, Logiciel Limited, Fido, Advans Ghana Savings and Loans and the other vital institutions they visited made in-depth, practical introductions of their entities to the delegation.

During the delegation’s visit to one of the companies, Miss Rakotomaharo said: “We also want to use this opportunity to plead that you extend the needed support and knowledge-sharing environment to Madagascar anytime we call on you, to enable us better-implement what we learned on our journey here”.

At the end of the study tour, Miss Nivoarizay Razafinorakoto had this to say: “We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Team from the Ghana Fintech and Payments Association for organising our exchange visit in Ghana. We learnt a lot from the experiences of Ghana in terms of advancing financial inclusion through digitalisation. We also appreciate the efforts of all institutions we visited for first-hand knowledge and impressions. We hope to leverage on what we have witnessed and experienced while here in Ghana to advance digital finance in Madagascar”.

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